How to Paint a Park Bench

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Painting a park bench may restore its original luster.
Painting a park bench may restore its original luster. (Image: Park Bench image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com)

After years of exposure to weather and the elements, your park bench may need restoring, which can often be accomplished through stripping off old, weathered paint and applying a new coat of paint or stain to the bench. Select a well-ventilated area, preferably outside, on a warm, sunny day.

Things You'll Need

  • Power washer or paint stripper
  • Outdoor paint or wood stain
  • Paintbrushes
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles

Use a power washer or chemical paint stripper to strip old finish or paint off of the park bench. If using a power washer, wear safety goggles and gloves and take caution to not injure yourself while spraying the bench. Apply the power washer stream or chemical paint stripper to all wooden areas of the park bench. Apply a thick coat of paint stripper and wait the recommended time without disturbing the bench until the proper time has passed.

Use a power washer to strip paint off the park bench.
Use a power washer to strip paint off the park bench. (Image: spray image by bright from Fotolia.com)

While the stripper is still wet or after you are done power washing, use a putty knife to remove loose paint from the bench. Remove as much as possible with the knife and then use a piece of 120-grit sandpaper followed by a piece of 220-grit sandpaper to sand the wood grain smooth.

Use a putty knife to remove loose paint.
Use a putty knife to remove loose paint. (Image: putty knife image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

Before you apply the stain or paint you purchased for your bench, decide whether or not you want to apply a wood filler to your bench. Understand that woods with wide grains like oak and mahogany are better suited for a wood filler. Select a color of filler that contrasts with your stain color if you want the wood grain to stand out. Test a small, unseen area of the bench with the filler and stain over it to ensure you are satisfied with your filler and stain before you complete the bench. If satisfied, apply the filler to the bench with a stiff paint brush or rag and wait for it to dry completely.

Apply the filler to the bench.
Apply the filler to the bench. (Image: Brush image by hugy from Fotolia.com)

Brush the stain or paint onto the park bench in every place where there is wood. Allow the first layer to dry completely.

Brush the stain or paint onto the park bench.
Brush the stain or paint onto the park bench. (Image: yellow paint image by Jennifer Griner from Fotolia.com)

Apply a layer of paint sealer to the stained areas of the bench and allow it to dry completely.

Examine the color of the bench. If you are satisfied with the richness and depth, you are done. If not, add another coat of paint or stain to the wooden areas of the bench. Allow the layer to dry completely and then reassess to determine if you need a final layer.

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